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Forms with ring binder

How do I get rid of my physical forms?

from  Joyce Choy September 16, 2021 | 5 min read

Application forms are part and parcel of any organizations to manage transactions within and outside the organization. Hardcopy forms have been around for decades but many organizations had achieved breakthrough over the years partially or fully eliminating the use of hardcopy forms and replacing it with softcopy application and approval processes. These efforts are accelerated by increasing environment consciousness and the common need to work-from-home these days.  

In order to eliminate the use of physical forms, we need to understand first of all, what purpose do they serve and therefore, why is the use so prevalent despite all odds against them. In the sphere of HR, let’s ask ourselves what forms are usually originated by HR, what information is to be transferred and who need to review and approve the information? Who needs to take actions or make records based on the information approved?

The work process above is a typical workflow to approve a transport claim using physical forms. When it comes to digitizing the workflow, it is necessary to adjust certain elements along the way. Key considerations are:

  1. Are there too many approving / reviewing parties in the process? Should the process owner be changed (e.g. HR or Finance)?
  2. What can we do with original receipts? Can scanned receipts be acceptable and compliant with the company’s accounting policies?
  3. How shall I instruct my employees to follow the new workflow? Is the employee self-service easy and accessible enough for my entire employee population?

The journey to entirely get rid of physical forms will not be an easy one. However, it is doable as proven by many organizations and softcopy forms are here to stay.  

Joyce Choy

Joyce is a Solution Consultant with Unit4 Asia Pacific and helps to simplify and automate HR processes through the use of Unit4’s Prosoft technology. Prior to joining Unit4, Joyce has nearly ten years of HR experience. She is an IHRP-CP (Certified Professional) since October 2018. She also holds two Postgraduate Diplomas in HR and Reward Management (2013) and Human Capital Management (2010) from SHRI Academy. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with Bachelor of Arts with Hons in Japanese Studies in 2004.